Second-Placed Cats Spoil the Symmetry (Not That They Care)

Ah well, the better side on the day and all that. Congrats to the Cats but they can count themselves very lucky indeed as a gracious coach admitted in his post-game address.

The Saints' lack of finish in front of goal cost Investors dearly this weekend, the undefended goal-after-the-siren merely making their frustration complete as it consigned their line bet to the same fate as their multitudinous head-to-head bets.

Those with the Recommended Portfolio wound up losing 6.1% on the GF to finish the season up by about 1.4%. MIN#001 lost 6.3% to finish up 5.9% for the season, MIN#015 lost 5.9% to finish up 5.2% on the season, and MIN#017 lost just 4% to finish up 33.4% on the season. So, as we knew before the Granny started, profit for everybody. Just not as much as I'd hoped.

Investors: please advise me by e-mail what you'd like done with your Funds.

We now enter the chart and table section of this blog. Prepare to scroll.

Here's a chart showing the game-by-game performance of every Investor's Portfolio:

As you can see by those dips on the far right, Investors lost money over the course of the Finals this year, in stark contrast with years past.

Next, here's a chart giving the round-by-round summary:

Turning our attention to the individual Funds, we start with a table showing each Fund's performance with every team across the entire season:

And we follow this with a table summarising this data by team:

Lastly, we finish with a round-by-round summary:

On tipping BKB finishes the year with 125 from 185 (68%), ELO with 124 from 185 (67%), and Chi with 118 from 185 (64%). If offered these stats at the start of the season I'd have accepted Chi's and leapt at ELO's.

On line betting, ELO and Chi both finish with a loss, leaving Chi on 85 from 185 for the season (and 1 from 9 in the finals), and ELO on 103 from 185. Level-stake wagering on ELO's line bets would have yielded 9.49 units of profit across the season. Level-stake wagering on Chi's line bets would have yielded a peptic ulcer.

Chi's final Mean APE is 30.6 points per game, beaten by ELO's 28.7 points per game, in turn edged out by BKB's 28.0 points per game. On Median APE ELO is the best of the three. Its 23 points beats BKB's 23.5 points. Chi's 26 points places him third.

This Week We're All Saints

After 341 wagers across 184 games Investors with the Recommended Portfolio have effectively offered the TAB Sportsbet bookie a double-or-quits proposition.

If the Saints win on Saturday, their profit will lift from about 7.5% of Initial Funds to about 15.1%; if the Saints lose the entire year's effort will amount to a profit of about 1.4%.

The story for other Investors is different but they too are now all guaranteed a profit for season 2009 ranging in size from 5% to 33%.

Head-to-head bets on the Saints range from Chi-squared's 14.1% to Prudence's 3.2%, and Line Redux has its customary 5% on the Saints +8.5 points.

The bookies' re-estimation of the relative chances of the Saints and the Cats on the basis of just one game each has been quite dramatic and, in my view, excessive. This time last week I calculated that we should expect a Saints price of $1.80 to $1.95 if they were to take on the Cats in the GF. We got them at $2.30.

Our Ready Reckoner is as follows:

Those are fairly dramatic swings for just a single game. Still, it is the Granny ...

On tipping this week, a little explanation is required.

Not for Chi, who's on the Saints by 3, nor for BKB, who's on the Cats, but for ELO, who's on the Saints by 31 despite the fact that Geelong have a marginally better MARS rating (1,043.3 to the Saints' 1,043.1) and there's no true home team this week.

All year I've been selecting ELO's tips using a model, fitted to the results for seasons 2000 to 2008, that converts MARS ratings into predicted margins and takes into account true and notional home team status. This model, in the finals especially, places a great deal of weight on the home team even if that team is only the notional home team. The logic behind this is that, in the absence of a true home team, the notional home team - such as the Saints this week - finished higher on the competition ladder.

So, for ELO, the Saints by 31 points it is.

On Line Betting this means that Chi and ELO are also both on the Saints.

(Incidentally Chi's Mean APE is 30.7 points per game and his Median APE is 26.5 points. Any hopes of a sub-30 point Mean APE are long-gone, but around 30.5 points per game - which is possible if the Saints do win by around 3 points - is still a respectable outcome, unlike say his wagering performance.

ELO's Mean APE is 28.6 points per game and its Median APE is 23.0 points, respectable results both. With a Saints victory of the optimum magnitude - 31 points - the Mean APE could even finish below 28.5 points per game.

BKB's Mean APE is 28.1 points per game and its Median APE is 23.5 points, remarkably still trailing ELO's.)

Cold Pies Disappoint Investors

The neatness of the 2009 AFL Finals series continues, as the teams finishing 3rd and 4th on the home and away season ladder depart in the Prelims as scripted, leaving 1st to play 2nd in the GF.

A shame then that we wagered against such a tidy outcome.

St Kilda's head-to-head win and line betting loss, coupled with head-to-head and line betting losses for the Pies, left most Funds and Portfolios in red ink for the weekend.

New Heritage was the only Fund to increase in value, rising about 3.5% on 1 successful wager from 2. It's now made 99 bets during the season, 74% of which have been winners. Prudence was the only other Fund to land a winning wager, notching 1 from 2, but nonetheless shed a little under 2% in value. It's made 93 bets this season, winning 73% of them.

Chi-squared dropped furthest this weekend, frittering almost 16% on the Pies. It's made 42 bets this season, winning just 48%. Hope, another Pie-eyed Fund (gotta get these puns out now - time's running out this season), dropped a little over 5%. It's made 34 bets this season, winning exactly half.

Line Redux contrived to finish on the wrong side of both line markets this weekend (as did Chi and ELO), causing it to drop 10% of its initial value. It's made 73 bets this season and won 52% of them.

So, the Recommended Portfolio drops a little under 6%, leaving it up about 7.5% for the season. In other Portfolio news, MIN#001 and MIN#015 both dropped around 5-6% leaving them up about 11-12% on the season, and MIN#017 recorded the weekend's only Portfolio increase, rising about 3.5% to be up 37% on the season.

On tipping, Chi and ELO scored 1 from 2 and BKB scored 2 from 2. BKB and ELO are now tied on 124 from 184 (67%), 6 tips ahead of Chi on 118 (64%).

Pies To Spring the Upset?

It's that time of year when I wonder whether or not to ignore home ground advantage.

This week's Geelong v Pies clash is, as you probably know, being played at the MCG. Geelong, as the team finishing higher on the ladder, are the AFL's notional home team. But the G is Collingwood's home ground, not Geelong's (although it must be beginning to feel like a second home for the Cats and their supporters).

In the end, I've stuck with tradition and coded for this as a home game for the purposes of the MAFL models.

As a consequence of this coding, all the Funds, New Heritage excluded, can consider only Pies wagers. As it turns out, all of them, including New Heritage if only barely, have accepted the invitation to punt on a Pie.

Across the two games, New Heritage has 2 wagers totalling around 11.5% of the Fund, though only the one on St Kilda is of any consequence. Prudence also has two wagers, totalling almost 8.5% of the Fund in its case and biased slightly towards the Saints in size if not in risk.

Hope has a single wager of around 5% on the Pies, Chi-squared also has just a single wager on the Pies, though his is for 15.5% of the Fund (the phrase "death or glory" springs immediately, unbidden, to mind).

Line Redux has a 5% wager on each of the Saints, giving 17.5 start, and the Pies, receiving 15.5.

Here's what the Ready Reckoner resembles:

On tipping, we've unanimity in support of the Saints, but a 2-1 split for the Pies in the other game.

For line betting, Chi and ELO are both on the Saints and the Pies.

To Which Teams Do Investors Owe Thanks?

For the next in our series of season-in-review pieces, I thought we'd take a look at how each of the Funds and the Recommended Portfolio has fared wagering on each of the teams.

On the left, I've shown the performance as bar charts, each with a range of -55% to +55% (the blue line is at 0); on the right, I've shown the equivalent numbers.


Most Funds and the Recommended Portfolio made a small profit on Crows-wagering this season, though Chi-squared did manage to time its wagers to produce a smallish loss.

Brisbane Lions

New Heritage read the Lions' performances best of all and rose by nearly 8c on the strength of Lions-based wagering. Prudence eked out a small gain, but Hope, Chi-squared and Line Redux all made losses, which meant that the Recommended Portfolio made an overall small loss.


Carlton were one of only two teams that brought pestilence to all who wagered upon her. Hope and Line Redux were smart enough to completely ignore the Blues, but Prudence and, especially, New Heritage and Chi-squared foundered upon the Blues' rocky form. Consequently, the Recommended Portfolio registered a loss from Blues betting - only one of three losses that it registered on teams making the final 8.


So far, only Prudence has failed to profit from the Pies' successful season. For New Heritage, the Pies have generated the largest return of any team, and for the Recommended Portfolio they're currently the fifth most profitable team.


Wagering on the Dons this year has been all about timing, and Hope's really had it, Line Redux has had it a little, and the rest - Chi-squared especially - haven't had it at all. For the Recommended Portfolio, Essendon has been one of only six unprofitable teams.


Though they've not pleased their fans much this year, the Dockers have certainly pleased Investors. Every Fund has cranked out a profit wagering on them, Hope most of all, making Freo the third most profitable team for those with the Recommended Portfolio.


Geelong is another team that has been bounteous for all who've had faith, which for MAFL has been every Fund except Hope. New Heritage has been particularly astute in pouncing on the Cats, generating almost 12c of incremental value from their victories.


For New Heritage, Prudence and Hope, the Hawks have been a source of modest profit, but for Chi-squared and (very much) for Line Redux, the opposite has been true. In fact, Line Redux has destroyed almost one-half of its initial value on the shoals of Hawks' line results. As a consequence, the Hawks have produced the worst performance of any team for Investors with the Recommended Portfolio, destroying almost 11c worth of initial value.


The Roos have generally been a team of little import as far as MAFL wagering has been concerned. New Heritage and Line Redux have squandered a little on them, but Prudence, Hope and Chi-squared have profited a little, resulting in a small gain from the Roos for the Recommended Portfolio.


Traditionally, MAFL Investors have revelled in those teams that have managed to produce the occasional, lucrative, at-home victory, which is exactly what the Dees have done this year. Only Hope missed out on the party, while, in contrast, Chi-squared benefited to the tune of over 27c. Overall, Melbourne generated the largest value of any team for Investors with the Recommended Portfolio, contributing almost 9c of incremental value.

Port Adelaide

Port are another team that have disappointed fans but thrilled Investors. Every Fund made money wagering on them, Chi-squared and Line Redux most of all, making them the second most profitable of all the teams for the Recommended Portfolio.


As far as Investors are concerned the Tigers couldn't even time their wins advantageously this season. Every Fund lost money wagering on them bar the Hope Fund, which avoided loss by avoiding wagering on them. With a net loss of almost 8c, the Tigers were the second greatest value destroyers for the Recommended Portfolio of any team. Chi-squared, in particular, found them to be an unprofitable addiction.

St Kilda

Aside from a brief period late in the home-and-away season it's been hard to place losing wagers on the Saints, as every Fund but Hope has discovered. The Recommended Portfolio owes 5c worth of its gain to the performances of the Saints.


Only Prudence and Line Redux escaped the cash vortex that was Swan-betting this season. Consequently, the Recommended Portfolio dropped over 7c thanks to the Swans, the third-highest loss amongst all the teams.

West Coast

Hope and Line Redux timed their investments in the Eagles far better than any other of the Funds, so well in fact that they were able to cover the losses from New Heritage, Prudence and Chi-squared and so create a small net profit for Investors with the Recommended Portfolio.

Western Bulldogs

The Dogs have been one of only three teams on which every Fund has wagered and returned a profit, though in Chi-squared's case the profit is so minuscule that it must be measured with a microscope. Overall, the Recommended Portfolio owes almost 4c of its incremental to the efforts of the Dogs.

Another Week Goes to Script

It's taken two weeks, six games and two remarkable comebacks to give Investors a perfect finals record and recoup all of the losses they suffered in Round 22.

This weekend, the respectively comfortable and miraculous wins of the Dogs and the Pies cranked New Heritage up 9%, Prudence up 1.5%, and Line Redux up 4.5%, elevating the Recommended Portfolio by 3% and the other Portfolios by between 3% and 9%.

That leaves the Recommended Portfolio up a tick over 13% on the season, and the other Portfolios up by amounts ranging from 16% to 34%, which surely means that only a suicidal wagering flurry from New Heritage or Chi-squared could drag any of the Portfolios back into loss over the remainder of the season.

Since we're nearing the end of the season it's time to start reviewing some of the broader trends we've witnessed this year, starting with a look at how the Funds have performed relative to the expectations I set in the Fund Profiles document I issued pre-season.

First, consider New Heritage, which is up almost 34% on the season. It's bet on 53% of games, a little less than I expected, won 74% of those bets, which is at the upper end of my expectations, made bets averaging 8.7% of the Fund, slightly higher than I predicted, and recorded an ROI of 4%, which is at the upper limit of my predictions. Gotta be happy about all that.

Next, Prudence. It's also showing a profit for the season - almost 16% - and its activity and performance levels are all within the advertised ranges. Two votes for happiness.

Then, Hope. It's up a whopping 54% even though its win rate is slightly lower than I'd expected. Bet frequency and average bet size have both been within forecast ranges, but ROI has been a massive 40.5%, shattering the upper limit of my most optimistic forecasts. I'll forgive a Fund that outlays less than I expect if it can generate returns like that from what it does outlay. Happiness 3-0.

Line Redux has overcome a mid-season slump that saw it drop briefly below 79c at the end of Round 12 before rebounding to reach its current value of just under $1.15, its highest value for the season so far. The Fund has wagered a little less often, won a little less frequently and wagered slightly more on average than I anticipated, all of which has produced an ROI below the minimum of my indicated range. Still, a double-digit profit is unsneezeworthy, so add one more to the happiness tally.

Lastly, and undoubtedly leastly, we come to the Chi-squared Fund. As I type this, Chi has only moments ago quietly vacated the space at the left of my feet, clipping his way down the wooden floorboards of our hallway to find a bed somewhere else. I suppose if any living thing's going to sense negative energy it'd be something named Chi wouldn't it?

This year he bet about as often and about as much per bet as I'd foreseen, but won considerably less often than I'd budgeted for, leaving him down over 43% on the season and, consequently, with an ROI on the red side of bad.

Essendon, Sydney and Richmond were all significant contributors to Chi's demise. The Dons cost him almost 25c in winning just 1 of 3 wagers; Richmond cost him another 23c by winning just 1 of 4 wagers; and the Swans lopped off about another 27c by also winning just 1 of 4 wagers.

A consolation point then for unhappiness but still an overwhelming victory for the punting pleasure of all Investors.

Moving on to tipping, ELO maintained its perfect finals tipping record with 2 from 2 this weekend, taking it to 123 from 182 (68%) for the season. BKB and Chi managed only 1 from 2, which leaves BKB at 122 (67%) and Chi at 117 (64%), still creditable performances in each case.

On Line Betting, ELO also sports a perfect 6 from 6 finals record, putting it now up by 12.89 units for the season on level-stake wagering. Chi registered a blank this week and is now just 1 from 6 for the finals. It's not been a happy year for those following a line betting strategy based on Chi's margin tips (unless such a strategy had a strong contrarian element).

Dogs on Friday; Pies on Saturday; Rest on Sunday

Oh what a fickle bunch we Investors are forced to be. This week we'll cheer if the Dogs and the Pies are victorious; last week the cheers were on the other ... well, lips I guess.

Just three Funds are active this week, New Heritage, Prudence and Line Redux.

New Heritage has an 11.8% wager on the Dogs at $1.25 and a 5.2% wager on the Pies at $2.15. I'm sure there's a good reason why the Pies are underdogs, but I'm yet to discover it. Prudence has 5.9% on the Dogs, and Line Redux has 5% on the Dogs giving 26.5 points start.

All of which yields the following Ready Reckoner:

On tipping there's contention in only one of the two contests. In the Dogs v Crows game, BKB, Chi and ELO are all tipping a Dogs win, whereas in the Pies v Lions game, BKB and Chi are tipping the Crows, but ELO's tipping the Pies.

Finally, on line betting, Chi's tipping Brisbane and Adelaide, ELO the Dogs and Collingwood.

A Welcome Regression

Entitlement's a dangerous feeling to harbour as a punter, as sporting events will always unfold as they wish, oblivious to how earlier outcomes might have treated your finances.

So, I'll not claim for a moment that I felt we were entitled to a series of favourable outcomes this weekend to redress the tragicomedy that was last weekend's wagering. Instead, I'll draw upon the nomenclature of the statistician and suggest that what we saw this weekend was an example of "regression to the mean", which, broadly, is the label attached to the phenomenon of witnessing a 'more normal' outcome directly after having witnessed a more extreme one.

It's a phenomenon with a proud history and one that we're all exposed to regularly.

For example, a shambolic experience at a restaurant is more likely to be followed by a more pleasurable one - if only you can bring yourself to return to the same restaurant. And, in a sporting context, it's how you explain the inevitable decline in performance of the previous year's Rookie of the Year.

The logic of regression to the mean is very straightforward. Each time you experience some repeatable event you experience just one of a number of possible "outcomes" for that event. If you could array the set of these possible outcomes you'd find that they tended to follow a vaguely bell-shaped distribution - that is, there'd be a few very bad (or very good outcomes), a few more less bad outcomes, and a far greater number clustered around "average". So, if you suffer a diabolical outcome this time, next time there are a far larger number of better outcomes for you to experience than there are worse outcomes, so you tend to experience one of the better ones.

Our win-every-bet-and-jump-12% performance this weekend was then potentially a particularly gratifying example of regression to the mean. Or, of course, it was just an example of extraordinarily good fortune to which we were completely unentitled.

Anyway, the summary is that the New Heritage Fund landed 3 from 3 to jump by over 13%; Prudence bagged 4 from 4 to jump by 4%; Chi-squared notched 3 from 3 to jump by 22%; and Line Redux landed 2 from 2 to jump by 23%.

Together, these results lifted the value of the Recommended Portfolio by about 12%, moving it back into profit by about 10% on the season. Other Portfolios rose by similar percentages on the weekend, leaving them up by between 13% and 25% for the entire season.

Here's the game-by-game picture for each Portfolio for the season so far:

MAFL Tipping was as accurate as MAFL Wagering, with BKB, Chi and ELO all tipping 4 from 4. ELO also tipped all 4 line betting results and is now at +11.09 units on level-stake line betting based on its tips, which is about a 6.2% ROI.

Week 2 of the Finals looks like this:


Once More With Feeling

(Update at 3:00pm Saturday : Brisbane's giving 6.5 start to the Blues, so no bet)

Stakes at Stake

September's here at last and a few hundred players and at least a few hundred more coaches and support staff will need to find other things to do with their weekends for a while.

Our Funds though remain firmly focussed on this season and they, generally, like what's on offer from TAB Sportsbet this weekend.

The keenest Fund is Chi-squared which has - apparently oblivious to recent performance - waded in with 3 wagers totalling about 28% of the Fund, the largest and riskiest being 10.4% on the Lions at $1.85 at home to the Blues.

Almost as keen is New Heritage, which has also found 3 teams that it's willing to support financially. Its largest wager is 12.9% on Adelaide at $1.10 at home facing the Dons and its riskiest is, like Chi-squared's, on the Lions and is sized at 6.9%.

For the second week running, Line Redux has found reason to depart from its usual 5%-per-game wagering strategy, this time dropping 15.9% on Geelong who are giving the Dogs 6.5 points start in their clash at the G. Its other wager is the more customary 5%, on the Saints giving the Pies 7.5 start in their clash, also at the G.

What Prudence lacks this week in terms of strength of conviction it makes up for in breadth. It has wagers, totalling only about 10.5% of the Fund, but spread over all 4 favourites. (In fact, 1 was an equal favourite as at Wednesday but is now an underdog on the TAB). These wagers include 6% on Adelaide and 1.3% on the Lions.

Hope, for only the third time this season and for the first time in 9 rounds, has chosen to abstain for the duration of the weekend. When you're up by over 54% on the season, I guess you get to choose your moments.

Ready Reckoner

Combined, these wagers produce this Ready Reckoner, which has a disturbing resemblance to last weekend's:

Far from retreating into hiding, taking a breather, taking stock, or getting their collective wind back - choose your own favourite cliche - the MAFL Funds have made 12 wagers this weekend, an average of 3 a game. For all Investors except MIN#017, this round represents the highest outlay per game for any round this season.

The line bet on the Cats makes their game the one of most interest to most Investors, but all matches hold some level of financial interest for all Investors exceot MIN#017.


Most of the MAFL tipsters retire at the end of the home and away season; only BKB, Chi and ELO continue to tip throughout the Finals.

These remaining tipsters are unanimous on all games this weekend. (Note that I've recorded BKB as tipping the Lions this weekend, consistent with the principle that it follows the CTL strategy when the TAB Sportsbet prices are the same for each team.)

Chi this week has 2 Games of the Round - Lions v Carlton and St Kilda v Collingwood - for both of which he is predicting a 5 point margin of victory.

ELO has just a single Game of the Round and it is the Lions v Carlton clash, though it foresees no close games this weekend and predicts a 22 point winning margin even for its Game of the Round.

Line Betting

On Line Betting:

  • Chi's on Essendon, Geelong, Carlton, Collingwood
  • ELO's on Adelaide, Geelong, Brisbane, St Kilda

The GFC (Galling Football Crisis)


Perhaps that was the "Saturday we had to have".

As you know by now, I don't do excuses. So, instead, allow me to, completely impartially, present you with the details of what I'm now calling "Sobering Saturday". (Yes, there were other, less G-rated alternatives that I considered.)

Game 1: Geelong v Fremantle

The Cats dominate Freo and build steadily to lead by 55 points, 70-15, at the 5-and-a-half minute mark of the 3rd term, already covering the 47.5 points start we'd given.

They score only 24 more points in the game's remainder and concede 39, eventually winning by only 40 points, securing our head-to-head bet but surrendering our line bet in the process.

The Recommended Portfolio drops 0.9% - a mocking portent of what was to come.

Game 2: Hawthorn v Essendon

The Hawks complete two solid quarters of football and lead by 28 points late in the 2nd term before conceding the term's final goal to usher the Dons into the half-time break with just a sniff, trailing by 22 points.

Essendon pile on 21 unanswered points from the 7 minute to the 16 minute mark of the 3rd term before the Hawks briefly steady and limp into the 3-quarter-time break still up by 5 points.

But the signs are already there, and the Dons swamp the Hawks in the final term, scoring 6.7 to 3.3 to win by 17 points.

The Recommended Portfolio drops another 5.1% and a trend is established.

Game 3: Carlton v Adelaide

Carlton impress early to lead the Crows by 30-8 at the 17 minute mark of the 1st term but muster just 2 more goals in the 1st term while conceding 6 to finish the term with a 5 point lead.

They then kick just 9 more goals in the game while the Crows kick 21.

The Recommended Portfolio drops another 3.4% and we have what a stockmarket analysis might call a bear run.

Game 4: Sydney v Brisbane Lions

The Swans lead early - hmmm, there's a familiar theme - but never by much, and proceed to leak goals from the middle of the 2nd term to the early part of the 3rd, finding themselves down by 39 points at the 8 minute mark of the 3rd term.

Cruelly, over the course of the next 17 minutes they kick 5.1 to 0.0 to close within 8 points of a faltering Lions, before the Lions kick a confidence-restoring goal just before the final break.

Next, the Swans register the opening 13 points of the final term to trail by just a point. At the 15 minute mark of the term the Lions kick their first goal, to which the Swans reply some 10 minutes later to restore the deficit to 1 point. But the Lions scramble and cling on to win by 8 points.

The Recommended Portfolio drops another 4.3% and optimism excuses itself and leaves by the nearest exit.

Game 5: Port Adelaide v Kangaroos

Port are scratchy - they need to win by over 100 points to have a chance of making the finals, but you'd never guess it - but eke out a 20-point lead by the 10-and-a-half minute mark of the 3rd term.

What follows has, by now, a hint of inevitability.

Port enter stage left and concede 19 points in 5 minutes before snagging briefly on a ledge on the way down, registering a couple of late behinds to face the final term with a lead of just 3 points.

The Roos kick the opening 7 points of the final term to lead by 4, before Port scrambles three behinds to fool the audience and trail by 1. The suspense is deftly built as a handful of behinds are traded - though both teams are ostensibly in the market for goals - before Port secures a 6-pointer 30 seconds into time-on to lead by 4.

Port glances to the stage wings and whispers "prompt" and then, remembering its lines, concedes 1.2 - the goal coming from a debatable 50m penalty - while eschewing further point-scoring itself and goes on to lose by 4 points. Right on cue.

The Recommended Portfolio drops another 3.4% and the day's destruction is over.

In summary, for those with the Recommended Portfolio: the New Heritage Fund recorded 3 winning wagers from 6 bets, dropping 19.4%; Prudence snagged 2 from 3 but still dropped 3.6%; Hope lost its only bet and dropped 6.7%; Chi-squared lost 3 of 3 and plummeted 26.9%; and Line Redux landed just 1 of 4 and fell by 21.4%.

So, the Recommended Portfolio fell by 15.4%, leaving it down about 2.5% on the season. Other portfolios fell by between 15% and 20%, leaving them narrowly to moderately up on the season. The best portfolio is MIN#017's, which is up by a tick under 12%.

Anyway, on to tipping.

Astonishingly, BKB has finished out of the MAFL Tipster medals this year. Silhouette - who registered 6 from 8 this week, equal-best with Shadow - finished 1st, with an incredible 124 from 176 (71%). Second went to CTL with 120 (68%), and 3rd went to Shadow with 119 (68%).

ELO and BKB finished joint-4th on 117 (67%).

Four tipsters finished the home-and-away season in the black on level-stake, start in Round 6, Home Team only wagering: Silhouette, CTL, Shadow, and STM II. This is the fourth consecutive season in which these tipsters have finished in profit using such a strategy.

On line betting, ELO recorded a modest 4 from 8, but is still up on level-stake wagering, now by just under 7 units. Chi managed just 3 from 8 to drop further into deficit for the season.

ELO's MAPE now stands at 28.6 points per game and its Median Absolute Prediction Error at 23 points per game, leaving it narrowly behind BKB's MAPE (28.3 points) and narrowly ahead of BKB's Median APE (23.5 points). Chi languishes on both measures, with a 30.7 points per game MAPE and a 27 point Median APE, though neither of those results are of a "go to your kennel" level of incompetence.

So, on to the Finals ...

(Congratulations go to Dan on winning the Pick the Finishing Order Competition. Plaudits too go to Tim and Rohan who finished 2nd and 3rd.)

Just How Much Do the Dees Want the Priority Pick?

Stakes at Stake

(** See updates on the Hawthorn v Essendon line wager, below.)

If my knowledge of Catholicism serves me well, St Jude is (or was) the Hope of the Hopeless. How apt then that it's the Hope Fund that has chosen to lavish its final attention for the Home and Away season on last-placed Melbourne at $11, taking on the first-placed and joint flag favourites, St Kilda.

The Hope Fund is risking just 6.7% on the Dees, making this bet a relatively lucrative proposition for many Investors with fairly limited downside. Basically, it's a Heritage Fund wolf-style wager dressed up in sheepish Hope clothing.

In other news, the New Heritage Fund has 6 wagers totalling a tick under 60% of the Fund, the largest a 13.3% wager on the Cats at $1.03 taking on Fremantle at the Cats' cradle, and the riskiest a 4.8% wager on the Dogs at $2.15 sparring with the Pies for a 3rd-place finish.

Prudence, meantime, has just 3 wagers for about 15% of the Fund, its largest being 5.9%, also on Geelong, and its riskiest 4.6% on Port Adelaide at $1.33, who face the Roos.

Chi-squared also has 3 wagers, though they're a little larger on average than those of Prudence and total 27% of the Fund. The largest and riskiest is 9.8% on the Hawks at $1.80 in their spot-in-the-finals and earn-a-chance-to-defend-the-Premiership clash with the Dons.

Line Redux has, at this point, just 3 wagers too, totalling 15% of the Fund, though this is likely to change once the Hawks/Dons line market is posted on TAB Sportsbet anytime soon now. I'm expecting a wager on the Hawks, but the size of it will depend on the price offered.

(** Update at 2:45pm on Friday: Hawthorn opened on Line betting at $2.15 giving 6.5 points start. Line Redux really likes that deal and has plonked 15.9% of the Fund on the Hawks - comfortably its largest wager of the season.)

In total, the Round's wagering represents somewhere bewteen the 4th- and 6th-largest outlay for Investors this season.

(** Now 2nd to 5th.)

Ready Reckoner

This outlay provides the following risk-reward tradeoff:

For most then it's the Melbourne v St Kilda, (and now Hawthorn v Essendon), Sydney v Brisbane Lions, and Geelong v Fremantle matchups that represent the widest gap between potential profit and possible loss.


This week's tipping features an absence of unanimous favourites (assuming the lack of something can legitimately be called a feature). In fact, no team has fewer than 3 supporters this week, though not all of the minority support comes from particularly convincing sources.

We have:

  • West Coast as 10-3 favourites over the Tigers. None of the Top 5 MAFL tipsters are siding with the Tigers.
  • Geelong as 8-5 favourites over Fremantle. Again, the underdog support is bereft of high-profile MAFL tipsters.
  • Hawthorn as 10-3 favourites over Essendon. Essendon can count CTL and Silhoutte amongst its more comforting backers.
  • Carlton as 9-4 favourites over Adelaide. Both Silhouette and Shadow are tipping the upset.
  • The Lions are 10-3 favourites over Sydney. BKB is the only credentialled MAFL tipster predicting a Swans victory. ELO, though tipping with the majority, has the Lions winning by just a point, making this its Game of the Round.
  • Port Adelaide are 8-6 favourites over the Roos. Shadow is the only elite tipster with a contrarian view.
  • St Kilda are 10-3 favourites over Melbourne. Shadow, once again, finds itself as the lone dissenting voice amongst the tipsters that matter. Chi though is tipping the Saints by just 1 point, making this his Game of the Round.
  • Collingwood are 10-3 favourites over the Dogs. ELO and Shadow are both tipping a Dogs victory.

BKB aside, the best tipping performance of any heuristic tipster over the past 12 seasons is RYL's 124 last year. Silhouette needs 6 from 8 to equal this mark, and 6.5 or more to break it.

Line Betting

On Line Betting this week, Chi and ELO differ more often than they agree:

  • Chi is on Richmond, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Carlton, Sydney, Kangaroos, Melbourne and Collingwood.
  • ELO is on Richmond, Geelong, Hawthorn, Adelaide, Brisbane, Kangaroos, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs.

A Return To Profit For Most

This weekend, apparently the Lions and the Saints thought it'd make for more entertaining football viewing if they were to spot their opponents a bit of a start, 47 points in the case of the Lions and 32 points in the case of the Saints.

Many Investors had a financial interest in both these teams - in the case of the Lions, with the additional challenge of giving 33.5 points start - and no doubt found this fox-and-hound approach somewhat alarming. While the Lions did, indeed, metaphorically catch the fox, the Saints did not, an entirely unsatisfactory turn of events when you're wagering on short-priced hounds.

Still, in the end, all Investors except MIN#017 did make profits for the weekend, ranging from 3.1% to 3.9% and including 3.3% for those with the Recommended Portfolio. MIN#017 suffered a 3.8% loss.

For the season, the Recommended Portfolio is up about 13%, MIN#001 is up 18.5%, MIN#015 is up almost 16%, and MIN#017 is up over 31%, so you'd struggle at this point to be an unhappy Investor.

Atypically, Chi-squared recorded the weekend's best return amongst the Funds, up almost 9% on a solitary successful wager on Freo. Next best was Hope, also up almost 9% on 2 successful wagers from 2 outlays. Line Redux and Prudence also made profits, Line Redux up 4% on 2 wins from 3, and Prudence up a little under 1% on 5 successful wagers from 6.

New Heritage was the only Fund to make a loss. It dropped 3.8% on 5 successful wagers from 7, the two losses attributable to Essendon and the Saints.

With 5 favourites and an equal favourite saluting the judge this weekend, tipsters generally fared well, the best of them being Shadow, Chi and HSH, each of which scored 6 from 8.

Silhouette still leads, now on 118 from 168 (70%), three ahead of CTL on 115 (69%) and one more ahead of BKB on 114 (68%).

Five tipsters remain in positive territory on level-stake, Home Team only, start at Round 6 wagering.

On Line Betting, Chi managed just 3 from 8 and ELO just 4 from 8.

Just Say No to Surprisals

Stakes at Stake

This week, Investors are hoping for a round almost bereft of upsets, save for wishing for a minor upset on Friday night in the shape of the Dogs outbarking the Cats.

The New Heritage Fund has waited until Round 21 to record its highest level of aggregate Funds at risk for the season: about 70% at risk on 7 wagers, the largest being 13.2% on the Saints at $1.05, and the riskiest 4% on the Dogs at $2.25.

Prudence has also lashed out this week, dropping a little under one-third of the Fund on 6 wagers. Its largest is 6.1% on Carlton at $1.08 and its riskest is 2.8%, also on the Dogs. Hope has just 2 wagers for the round totalling about 8% of the Fund, the largest and riskiest being 4.6% on the Dogs, while Chi-Squared's sole wager - also, of necessity, its largest and riskiest - is 10.4% on Fremantle at $1.85.

Line Redux has 3 wagers for the week totalling 15% of the Fund. One wager is on a team receiving start (the Dogs) and the other two are on teams giving start (Adelaide and Brisbane).

Ready Reckoner

In total, for everyone except MIN#017, these wagers represent the second-largest aggregate wagering for a single round this season, trailing only the profligacy of Round 16. For MIN#007, this round's wagers are, in fact, the season's apogee (or, perhaps, the nadir, depending on your viewpoint). There's some comfort though in the fact that most of the week's wagers are on favourites.

Here's the week's Ready Reckoner:

For most Investors then, the weekend's key games are, in order, the Dogs versus the Cats, the Lions versus Port, and the Crows versus the Eagles.


On tipping, we have:

  • Geelong 9-4 favourites over the Dogs. Amongst the Top 5 MAFL tipsters only Shadow is siding with the Dogs. ELO and Chi are both tipping the Cats, though each only by 1 point, making this, for both, the Game of the Round.
  • Carlton 12-1 favourites over Melbourne. Only EI I is tipping the upset.
  • Adelaide 11-2 favourites over West Coast with, once again, the Top 5 tipsters unanimously on the favourite.
  • Brisbane unanimous favourites over Port Adelaide.
  • Hawthorn 9-4 favourites over Richmond. Again, the Top 5 tipsters are backing the favourite.
  • St Kilda unanimous favourites over the Roos.
  • Collingwood unanimous favourites over the Swans.
  • Essendon 9-4 favourites over Fremantle. With the teams in this contest equal favourites as at noon on Wednesday, BKB sides with CTL for this game and therefore tips Essendon, again making all Top 5 tipsters unanimous for this game.

Line Betting

On Line Betting this week, Chi and ELO differ on 3 games:

  • Chi is tipping the Dogs, Melbourne, Eagles, Port, Richmond, the Roos, Sydney and Essendon
  • ELO is tipping the Dogs, Carlton, Eagles, Port, Richmond, St Kilda, Collingwood and Essendon

I Don't Like Saturdays

Well that hurt a bit.

Of the 20 bets that those with the Recommended Portfolio had in play just 8 were successful. Three of those winning bets came from New Heritage, but its 2 losing bets were enough to push it, like every other Fund, into the red for the weekend. It finished down a little over 2% on the weekend's indulgences. Prudence had 2 more of the winning bets, but also 2 more of the losers, which saw it drop by a touch under 2% for the weekend.

Amongst the other Funds, Hope had just 1 winner from 4 bets and dropped about 7%. Chi-squared registered an identical 1 from 4 performance, but Chi's proclivity for large wagers turned this into a 22% decline for the Fund.

Finally, Line Redux managed just 1 winner from 3 bets and dropped 5.5%.

All told, those with the Recommended Portfolio dropped about 7.5% on the weekend. MIN #001 and MIN # 015 lost similar amounts, and MIN #017 lost a tick over 2%.

These results could have been considerably worse but for a profitable Sunday's wagering. It struck me that Sundays had - or so I thought - often been kind to us this year. Which, inevitably, led to some analysis and the following table:

As you can see, Sundays have indeed been very lucrative for the Recommended Portfolio. It has made money on 12 of the 17 Sundays on which it's had wagers, producing a net profit across all those Sundays of almost 30%. In contrast, Saturdays have been unprofitable 11 times out of 19, and unprofitable in total, due entirely to the 15% losses that have been experienced over the previous 2 rounds.

In fact - as the table shows - the Saturday just gone was the worst single day's wagering the Recommended Portfolio has endured this season.

On tipping, CTL and ELO had the best rounds, scoring 6 from 8. This pushed CTL into outright 2nd for the season with 110 from 160 (69%), three tips behind Silhouette on 113 (71%) and 1 tip ahead of BKB on 109 (68%). Five tipsters remain profitable on level-stake home team only wagering commencing in Round 6. (A sixth, RYL, is virtually at breakeven.)

Finally, on Line Betting, Chi scored 3 from 8 and ELO 4 from 8, leaving ELO showing a profit and Chi a loss for the season.

The Tradition Continues

Stakes at Stake

There's just no rest if you're a MAFL Investor.

For those with the Recommended Portfolio we've another 20 wagers this weekend, covering all but the Tigers v Pies game on Saturday. The most profligate Fund is the Chi-squared Fund, which has 4 wagers totalling a smidge under half the Fund, the largest and riskiest of which being 15.2% of the Fund on the Swans at $2.55 facing the Cats. Two other wagers are equally brow-raising and are sized around the 12% mark and on teams priced at $2 or a little higher. This dog shows no fear/sense (delete whichever isn't applicable).

Next most profligate is the New Heritage Fund, which has 5 wagers totalling almost one-third of the Fund, the largest being 11% on West Coast at $1.36 and the riskiest 4.8% on Hawthorn at $2.15. Hope comes next, with 4 wagers totalling around 16% of the Fund, the largest and riskiest 5.1% on Sydney at $2.55.Then follows the Line Redux Fund, with three wagers each at 5% of the Fund, 2 on underdogs and 1 on a favourite. (Two line markets are yet to be posted, but they'll both probably be the home team +6.5 points which won't be enough to entice a flutter.)

Finally, Prudence is this week's spendthrift - such things being relative - having 4 wagers totalling only 13% of the Fund, the largest 3.5% on the Eagles and the riskiest 3% on Melbourne at $2.05.

In truth, by just about any measure, the weekend's fare is not especially scary. Had last year's Heritage Fund still been active, who knows what it might have outlayed on the Tigers at home at $6.25 or the Dons at home at $6.50.

Ready Reckoner

So, to the week's Ready Reckoner:

The Melbourne v Freo, Lions v Dogs, and Sydney v Geelong clashes are then the ones that matter most to all Investors, except MIN #017, who cares only about the first two of those games.


We have no games this week for which the tipsters are unanimous and 7 games for which there is at least 3 tipsters in the minority camp.

We have:

  • Adelaide 10-3 favourites over the Hawks. Both Chi and ELO are tipping the Crows but both by sufficiently narrow margins to make this their Game of the Round. Amongst MAFL's top 5 tipsters only Shadow is tipping the Hawks.
  • Collingwood 10-3 favourites over the Tigers. None of the top tipsters are on the Richmond.
  • The Roos 7-6 favourites over the Eagles, though BKB, ELO and CTL are all on West Coast.
  • The Lions 8-5 favourites over the Dogs, with ELO, CTL and Silhouette supporting the Dogs.
  • Geelong 7-6 favourites over the Swans. Amongst the top tipsters only Shadow is tipping the Swans.
  • Fremantle 9-4 favourites over the Dees, with Shadow and Silhouette tipping Melbourne.
  • Carlton 10-3 favourites over Port. Only Silhouette are supporting Port from amongst the top tipsters.
  • St Kilda 12-1 favourites Essendon. HSH is the only tipster hoping for a Dons victory.

Line Betting

On Line Betting:

  • Chi is tipping: Hawthorn, Richmond, Kangaroos, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Essendon
  • ELO is tipping: Hawthorn, Richmond, Kangaroos, Western Bulldogs, Geelong, Melbourne, Carlton, Essendon

(Update at 7:00pm on Thursday: the line markets for the Melbourne v Freo and Port v Carlton games have now been posted and, despite Melbourne receiving a little more start than I expected, we've no interest in either game, from a line betting perspective at least.)

Bitten By the Dogs

Well, 22 tall and athletic Dogs wearing Red, White and Blue guernseys and pushing for a top 4 spot dug the hole on Saturday, and 1 short and stocky white dog wearing nothing but a green collar just about filled it in on Sunday evening - with a little help mostly from Hope.

At least, that was the story for most Investors this weekend. Investors with the Recommended Portfolio wound up losing 1.4% and other Investors lost amounts ranging from 0.4% to 9.3%. MIN #002 was the only Investor to record a profit, jumping 7% courtesy of the Hope Funds' impeccable 2 from 2 record.

Other Funds were less successful than Hope, though Chi-squared did also eke out a profit, rising just over 4c on 2 wins from 4 bets. New Heritage dropped over 9c also on 2 wins from 4 bets, Prudence dropped 5c on 2 wins from 5 bets, and Line Redux dropped 1c on 2 wins from 4 bets. All told the Funds won just 10 bets from 19, so dropping a percent or two is probably not such a bad result, especially when you consider that 3 of those 'winning' bets were on the drawn Essendon v Lions game.

What generally hurt the majority of Funds this weekend was the unlikelihood of many of the results. Only 3 favourites won and another only drew, leading to the season's most unpredictable set of results, as measured by surprisals.

The table below lists the average outcome surprisals per game for each of the rounds this season alongside which I've shown the returns recorded for each of the Funds.

At the foot of the table I've calculated the correlation between the average outcome surprisals and the Fund returns for each round. The negative correlations on the left show that the New Heritage and Prudence Funds have prospered when results have been most predictable and surprisals have therefore been low, and the positive correlations on the right show that the Hope, Chi-squared and Line Redux Funds have prospered when results have been least predictable and surprisals have therefore been high.

The latest round was a perfect example of this phenomenon. The average outcome surprisals per game was a season-high 1.42 bits, the Hope and Chi-squared Funds made profits, the Line Redux Fund almost broke even, and the New Heritage and Prudence Funds made losses.

(For information on team-by-team outcome and margin surprisals visit MAFL Stats.)

Unpredictability also affected the MAFL tipsters' predictive accuracy. The round's best performance was 4.5 from 8 as was recorded by Shadow, CTL and STM I. The worst was just 1.5 from 8 and was recorded by STM II.

Silhouette now leads our tipping competition on 108 from 152 (71%), ahead of Shadow, CTL and BKB, all on 104 from 152 (68%).

Shadow, Silhouette and STM II remain strongly in profit on level-stake wagering on their head-to-head tips, whether you start counting from Round 1 or from Round 6.

Though ELO managed just 3.5 from 8 on head-to-head tipping, it bagged a perfect 8 from 8 on line betting, moving it to 85 from 152 for the season (56%), a record that would have yielded +8.22 units from level-stake wagering. Chi correctly predicted only 4 from 8 on line betting.

Exceptional line betting generally results from exceptional margin prediction and this is indeed how you'd describe ELO's margin prediction performance this season. Its Mean Absolute Prediction Error is now just 28 points per game and its Median Absolute Prediction Error is 22.5 points per game.

In comparison, Chi's Mean APE is 29.7 points per game and his Median APE is 26 points per game. More relevantly, BKB, always the benchmark, has a 27.8 points per game Mean APE and a 23.5 points per game Median APE.

So, ELO is just 0.2 points per game behind BKB on Mean APE and is a full 1 point per game ahead of BKB on Median APE.

Another Roll of the Dice

Bet or Bank?

There's a famous line by somebody that "the dice have no memory", an allusion to the startlingly obvious fact that inanimate objects - spotted or otherwise - are bereft of the necessary cerebral capacity to recall what they did last, and are therefore unable to take account of their previous behaviour when they 'decide' (which they don't do either) what to do next.

As the Alzheimic dice, so the Funds.

Clearly, none of the Funds has spent any time reflecting on last week's glory and thought to itself "Might have a quiet weekend and make that Sportsbet bookie sweat a bit", nor have any of them suddenly become more concerned about the possibility of late-season tanking, which are reasonable thoughts and sentiments that I'm sure more than one Investor has entertained this week.

With this in mind I decided to review how the various Fund algorithms would have performed had we been using them over the closing rounds of previous seasons. This analysis shows that the Funds have generally performed fairly well from this point in the season onwards, rarely losing, often doing just a little better than breakeven, and occasionally piling on the percentage gains. Then again, football results have no memory either ...

Anyway, if you're at all keen to take a few weekends off from wagering - if nothing else so that you can start enjoying games again - please let me know and we can sort out a strategy for you for the remainder of the season.

Stakes at Stake

Investors in the Recommended Portfolio have 19 wagers to shepherd this weekend, covering all but the Friday-night game yet again.

New Heritage has outlayed cash on 4 teams totaling about 21% of the Fund. The largest wager is 13.3% on the Dogs who are again at an apparently backable unbackable $1.04 this weekend. This Fund's highest-priced wager is 0.7% on Melbourne at $3.15. Those with the Recommended Portfolio and MIN#015 would prefer this bet to lose, however, as they also have a head-to-head bet on the Roos and will fare better if the Dees go down. MIN#001 and MIN#017, in contrast, want the Dees to win, and MIN#002 cares not for the outcome. So, this is a contest where I can't hope to make everybody happy.

Prudence has identified 5 gold-plated opportunities totalling just 15% of the Fund. Its largest outlay is 6% on the Dogs and its riskiest is 2.3% on Fremantle at $2.35.

Hope has 2 wagers both in the 4.6% to 4.8% and the largest - 4.8% on Fremantle - is also the riskiest.

Chi-squared, exhibiting perhaps the most Alzheimic behaviour of all, has splashed out again with 4 wagers totalling 45% of the Fund, including 14.3% on Fremantle (at $2.35) and 13.8% on Essendon at $2.25, in what appears to be a quest to achieve profitability or, like some of the MAFL Small Cap Mining Stocks, to go broke trying.

Line Redux has plumped for 4 wagers, each sized 5% as is customary, 3 of them on underdogs and the other on a favourite. The Line Redux Fund has been in fine form of recent weeks, landing 15 of 22 wagers across the last 6 rounds. Unfortunately this performance back-ended a 14 from 32 start to the season, though it has been enough to nudge the Line Redux Fund into its highest level of profitability since Round 4.

(Two line markets are yet to be posted - those for the Richmond v Sydney and the Kangaroos v Melbourne clashes - but I'm not expecting we'll have a wager in either. As usual, I'll confirm this once the markets are posted.)

Ready Reckoner

Here's what all the wagering means for your Portfolio:

Once again this weekend, Investors care deeply about the fate of Port, though now the guernsey's on the other back (or something like that), since this week we want Fremantle to prevail over the Power. What's driving this interest is the fact that every Fund has a wager on Fremantle, a situation from which Investors are 3 from 4 this season, missing out only when the Swans went down to Essendon in Round 15.

The Essendon v Brisbane Lions and the Dogs v Eagles matchups are also of considerable interest to most Investors.


This week there's only one unanimous favourite amongst the MAFL tipsters.

We have:

  • Geelong 9-4 favourites over Carlton, with only Shadow supporting the Blues from amongst the MAFL Top 6 tipsters.
  • The Dogs unanimous favourites over the Eagles.
  • St Kilda 12-1 favourites over Hawthorn. Only HSH is tipping the upset, though Chi has the Saints winning by just a point and so has this as his Game of the Round.
  • The Lions 10-3 favourites over Essendon. None of the MAFL Top 6 are tipping the Dons.
  • Adelaide 8-5 favourites over Collingwood. None of the MAFL Top 6 are tipping the Pies, though ELO has the Crows emerging victorious by just 3 points, making this one of its two Games of the Round.
  • The Roos 11-2 favourites over the Dees, with only STM II a credentialled tipper opting for the current Spooners.
  • Richmond 9-4 favourites over Sydney, though Sydney has ELO, CTL, Shadow and Silhouette all tipping the upset. ELO has the Swans winning by just 3 points, making this its second Game of the Round.
  • Port Adelaide 10-3 favourites over Fremantle, with none of the Freo support coming from the Top 6 MAFL Tipsters.

Four matches will, therefore, potentially affect the rankings amongst the top 6 tipsters: Geelong v Carlton, Adelaide v Collingwood, Kangaroos v Melbourne, and Richmond v Sydney.

Line Betting

This week on Line Betting:

  • Chi's on Carlton, West Coast, Hawthorn, Essendon, Adelaide, Melbourne (TBC), Richmond (TBC) and Fremantle
  • ELO's on Carlton, West Coast, St Kilda, Essendon, Collingwood, Kangaroos (TBC), Sydney (TBC) and Fremantle

For the season, Chi's tipped 71 from 144 (49%) and would have made a 9.48 unit loss on level-stake line betting. ELO's tipped 77 from 144 (53%) and would have made a 1.22 unit profit on level-stake line betting.

(Update at 8pm Thursday: as expected, no bets on the Richmond/Sydney or Kangaroos/Melbourne games. A new download is available with the line market details for these games. Note also that the Hawks are now favourites over the Saints on TAB Sportsbet, so much so that we now couldn't secure the same price head-to-head as we did on Wednesday with 15.5 points start. This is due to the major outs for the Saints, viz. Riewoldt, Montagna, Goddard, Hayes and Baker. The Hawks/Saints line market is suspended as I type this, as it has been for the past couple of days, but you can be certain that the Hawks will be priced at a lot less than the $1.90 we have locked in.)

A Round to Savour

For most Investors, a perfect wagering Sunday required that the three underdogs emerge victorious, an outcome which, save for an after-the-siren Tiger goal, would have transpired. Regardless, Investors landed the two wagers that really mattered, which saw all of them emerging with hefty portfolio increases.

In all, only 2 of 17 bets were unsuccessful: Prudence's wager on the Tigers and Line Redux's on Geelong. New Heritage landed 4 from 4 to jump by 8%, Prudence snagged 4 from 5 to rise by about the same amount, Hope managed 2 from 2 to climb by 22%, Chi-squared (at last!) bagged 1 from 1 to climb by 26%, and Line Redux scored 4 from 5 to rise by 13%.

All of which saw the Recommended Portfolio rise by 14.5%, leaving it up by 18.5% on the season, and other Portfolios rise by between 8% and 22% to leave them all up by amounts ranging from 21% to 53%. That's quite a round.

On tipping, Chi had the best of it, picking 7 from 8 to take him to 95.5 from 144 (66%) for the season. Silhouette managed 6 and still leads the pack, now on 104.5 from 144 (73%), 3 tips ahead of BKB on 101.5 (71%), and 2 more tips ahead of CTL and Shadow on 99.5 (69%).

The generally solid tipping performance of all our tipsters now sees 8 of them in black ink on level stake, start at Round 6, home team only wagering.

On line betting, Chi and ELO both fared well, correctly predicting 6 of the 8 winners.

One feature of this weekend's football was the regularity with which teams recording more scoring shots still contrived to lose. Three teams - the Roos, Adelaide and Hawthorn - all managed that achievement this weekend. Last weekend, Hawthorn, West Coast and Melbourne suffered the same fate, and Essendon also went down to the Tigers having recorded the same number of scoring shots. It's time for a few teams to spend a bit more time practising set shots, I reckon.

Will Investors Be Having A Port Whine on Sunday?

Stakes At Stake

Once again this weekend most Investors will find themselves disproportionately concerned about the outcome of a single contest.

Whilst it'll still be possible for a petite profit to be made should Port fail to topple the Hawks at Football Park, a truly memorable weekend will only be had if the upset eventuates.

To the details then.

New Heritage has 4 bets adding up to a little over one-third of the Fund, amongst them a 13.4% wager on the Dogs at a price not statistically significantly different from money back. They're at $1.02. The riskiest bet amongst the New Heritage clutch is 0.7% on Port Adelaide at $2.65. Every Fund has a wager on Port Adelaide this week, which is why Investors care so much about the outcome.

(Speaking of the use of 'clutch' as a collective noun for wagers, a visitor to the MAFL Online website this week arrived having searched on the phrase "clutching betting" using Google. Quite what he or she was truly looking for I'm as yet unable to fathom, but the length of the visit - 0 seconds - suggests he or she didn't find it on the MAFL Online site.)

Prudence has 5 bets totalling about 20% of the Fund. Its largest is also on the Dogs, 7.2% in its case, and its riskiest is 1.5% on Melbourne at $3.30.

Hope has just 2 wagers. Its largest and riskiest wagers is 5.7% on West Coast at $3.30, and its other wager is also on an underdog: 4.48% on Port Adelaide.

Line Redux has a record-equalling 5 wagers this weekend, 3 on teams receiving start and 2 on teams giving start.

Chi-squared is supporting a dog again this weekend, though whether it's yet another mongrel dog or merely an underdog is yet to be determined. He has 15.6% on Port Adelaide. The evidence does not bode well for this wager given the data in the table below, coupled with the knowledge that he's tipping Port Adelaide by just 3 points.

As you can see, he's 0 from 5 for wagers on teams that he's tipped by 4 points or fewer. Still, based on the wisdom of (generally near-broke) gamblers, I guess that makes him 'due'.

Ready Reckoner

This weekend's Ready Reckoner looks remarkably like this:

For the first time since Round 12, no Investor has an interest - at least on MAFL grounds - in the Friday night fixture. Saturday is, however, moderately important to everyone but MIN#002, and Sunday is screamingly important to everyone except MIN#017.

Tip-top Tipping

On tipping we have no unanimous favourites this week. Here are the details:

  • Carlton are 10-3 favourites over the Roos. None of the top 5 tipsters is siding with the Roos.
  • The Dogs are 8-5 favourites over Fremantle. Freo's only support amongst the top tipsters comes from STM II, who did tip Essendon to beat Hawthorn at $5 in Round 7, but surely can't be expected to prevail on a team currently at $11.
  • Geelong are 10-3 favourites over Adelaide. Amongst the top tipsters only Shadow favours Adelaide.
  • St Kilda are 12-1 favourites over Sydney, with Sydney's sole supporter being HSH.
  • Collingwood are 7-6 favourites over Brisbane. The Lions count Shadow and STM II amongst their supporters.
  • Richmond are 10-3 favourites over Melbourne, though the Dees do have Shadow's and Silhouette's vote.
  • Hawthorn are 8-5 favourites over Port Adelaide. Port have a majority of the top 5 tipsters selecting them, however, as Shadow, Silhouette and STM II have lined up behind them. ELO is tipping the Hawks, but only by 4 points, making this its Game of the Round.
  • Essendon are 12-1 favourites over West Coast. Once again HSH finds itself in the lonely part of the tipping convention. Chi, though, is tipping the Dons by just a point, making this his Game of the Round.

A Fine Line

On line betting this week, Chi and ELO are of one mind (though I suspect Chi's not contributing much to that entity). They're both implicitly tipping the Roos, Fremantle, Geelong, Sydney, Lions, Melbourne, Port, and West Coast.

An Honourable (Near) Draw

Investors with the Recommended Portfolio should probably be thankful that they escaped the weekend with just a small loss (0.4%), leaving them still up 4.0% on the season. Melbourne's inability to beat the Swans was the cause of most damage, though the Dons' narrow failure to pip the Tigers didn't help, nor did Freo's inability to cover their 8.5 point spread.

Other Investors lost too, MIN#001 and MIN#015 also only narrowly, and MIN#002 a little more substantially. MIN#017 was the only Investor to show a profit on the weekend. MIN#001 and MIN#015 are now up 7.2% for the season, MIN#002 is up 31%, and MIN#017 is up 38.5%.

Two Funds made profit on the weekend. New Heritage made almost 7% from 5 successful bets out of 6, leaving it ahead by 38.5% on the season, such profit deriving from 50 successful bets out of 66 wagers. Line Redux made 4% from its 2 out of 3 performance, leaving it down just over 1.5% on the season based on 25 successful wagers from 49 bets.

Prudence landed 4 bets from 6 but dropped 1.5% and is now up a little over 12% on the season with a 47 from 63 record. Hope won 1 and lost 1 to drop 4.4% but remains 31% ahead on the season with a 10 from 22 record. Chi-squared landed 3 from 4, but lost the one that mattered and so dropped 8% on the round to move to a loss of 55% on the season due to just 12 successful wagers from 25.

On tipping, BKB had the best performance of the round, snaring 7 from 8 to move to 95.5 from 136 (70.2%), joining Shadow on that score thanks to Shadow's paltry 2 from 8 for the week. Silhouette managed 5 from 8 and continues to lead, now by just 3 tips on 98.5 from 136 (72%).

Chi and ELO both had unremarkable line betting weekends, each bagging 4 from 8.

Chi continues to threaten the 30 points per game Mean Absolute Prediction Error (MAPE) landmark. He's now on 30.2 points per game; ELO's on 28.1 and BKB's on 27.2. As a measure of margin-tipping accuracy, MAPE is a good one, though it is subject to the distorting influence of a view blowout results. A measure that is less susceptible to such results, and one that is therefore preferred by some as a measure of margin-tipping accuracy is the Median Absolute Prediction Error.

For Chi, this measure is 26 points, for BKB it's 23.5 points, and for ELO it's 21.5 points, highlighting just how accurately ELO's been tipping margins this season.

Over on MAFL Stats you can view the latest MARS Ratings and there you'll see that the Saints have grabbed the number 1 ranking from the Cats for the first time this season. Given the Cats' patchy performances over the last month, I think that's probably a fair assessment.

A team-by-team comparison of results also highlights the Saints' superiority, especially against teams higher on the ladder:

In this table results in green are victories and those in red are losses. Where a team is to be played in a future round the details are shown in black. The teams are ordered by current ladder position.